The future is back home. In Ivrea, tomorrow is now.
Eager to take on the challenges posed by the crisis of current production and social organization systems, the future finds in Ivrea and its territory an open sky laboratory where technology, beauty, and social innovation are shared culture and heritage, with a potential that is only partially expressed.
A unique place
From Olivetti’s extraordinary experience to being a point of reference of a modern way of doing business, in which local communities and social challenges are considered as a goal and give sense to the business. We aim at creating the necessary “ecosystem” to help the new enterprises, their business, and their philosophy, find a new point of reference, a place that is their home: Ivrea.
The Fabbrica di Mattoni Rossi, built by Camillo Olivetti, dates back to the end of the Nineteenth century. Olivetti’s business story started there, with the realisation of the first typing machine. Its reputation is known beyond the Canavese area and, throughout the world, it reminds of issues of technology, innovation, design, culture, welfare, and society. The Fabbrica di Mattoni Rossi, with a surface of 8,500 square metres, is situated in Ivrea in via Jervis, at a short distance from the railway station, in the heart of the Olivetti city candidate to be declared UNESCO World Heritage.
A HERITAGE OF SUCCESS
The vision for a modern society goes on today.
Ivrea’s history, marked by innovation and experimentation, persists in its search for new and different ways of manufacturing and organizing societal life, capable of building new horizons.
The richness of the present is to have a past that still inspires the future of a territory that, in its successful anomaly, is a real chance for the world.
The capacity to go beyond conventions to reach the unimaginable through free cooperation that rejects limits: while the open source philosophy is developing throughout the world, it is already a tradition in Ivrea.
Here, with the great bustle brought about by the Interaction Design Institute, the first years of the new millennium witnessed the development of Arduino, the open-source electronic platform that is revolutionizing the world of design.
Adopted by a very large community of makers from all over the world, the platform continues to develop and adjust to the purposes and needs of its users, keeping its original intent: ensuring for everyone (students, hobbyists, programmers, and professionals) the easy use of a technical means that would otherwise be complex.
Ivrea is really unique: it is a model of experimental city that has been able to rely on industry as a strong and exceptionally human idea to be cultivated for a harmonious, friendly development, sympathetic to the surrounding environment.
The industrial city of Ivrea is a candidate to be declared World Heritage by UNESCO, in that it is an extraordinary example of experimentation of new and beneficial relations between history and modernity, industry and agriculture, innovation and tradition.
The architectures that mark and tell Olivetti’s industrial project, connecting it tightly with the socio-cultural context, are still the expression of technological and social innovation.
Ivrea will always be home to the future, for whoever wants to seek it.
In the context of such a complex and rapidly evolving market as that of energy, the Canavese area presents the umpteenth peculiarity: Azienda Energia e Gas Società Cooperativa (AEG Coop), a cooperative undertaking with over 20 thousand members, which has been distributing gas and electricity to Ivrea and its territory since 1901.
Although the business has evolved over time to keep the pace with modernisation, the company has never neglected its original commitments (Camillo Olivetti was among its founders): cooperation, service quality, solidarity, and respect for the environment.
This is why it is crucial for the territory: it is a reality constantly committed to supporting the social and cultural fabric of the local community.
INTERACTION DESIGN INSTITUTE
The idea that industry had to generate beautiful and functional products is one of the key aspects of the Olivetti philosophy.
Therefore, it is not surprising that between 2001 and 2005 Centro Studi Olivetti became the headquarters of the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute, a high-level graduate school capable of turning students into professionals aware that objects’ design creates and determines the interaction between man and things.
A vanguard place focusing on absolute innovation, over 4 years the school created by Olivetti and Telecom Italia has developed projects that have revolutionized the world.
These include Wiring, a development platform, Arduino, an open-source microcontroller, Processing, graphical environment and programming language for software prototyping (started at the MediaLab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the CICCIO environment, and the interactive design handbook known as Interaction Design Primer.